When you think of going green, your finances may not necessarily come to mind. The fact of the matter is that money management is often overlooked as a way to make responsible and sustainable choices that help the planet. By taking a few simple steps you can make an enormous impact on the environment without breaking the bank.
Most banks now offer online banking, meaning there’s no reason to have a cluttered mess of papers flying around. You may already use online banking, but did you remember to cancel the paper statements? If you’re one of those people who is still getting their statement mailed, you can ask to opt out online or at your local branch.
Of course, then you would need to figure out what to do with all those paper statements you have piled up. Simply scan them into your computer to create digital copies, and recycle the originals (Note: Make sure to keep back-up copies, and shred the pages before you recycle them to avoid identity theft).
Online Banking Options
Once you’ve cut yourself loose from paper statements you can familiarize yourself with all the online banking options that are available to you. Many banks offer online portfolios that allow you to seamlessly link all of your financial accounts in one place. That way you don’t have to jump to another website if you want to check your retirement account, your brokerage account, or your credit card statements.
As if cell phones didn’t already do enough, now you can instantly check your bank account with the click of a smartphone button. Many major banks offer mobile banking apps for smartphones where you can check your balance, transfer funds, pay your bills and find nearby ATMs. Some banks are even allowing you to snap a picture of your check with your phone for deposits without the ATM.
In addition to your bank’s mobile apps, there are also independent financial apps that can help you stay connected to all of your accounts at once. The best of these apps offer a secure and free way to stay up to date on all of your accounts and see exactly where your money is going.
Some companies even offer the ability to file your taxes with a smartphone app. Talk about useful!
In addition to your bank accounts, your stock portfolio could be green. Clean energy systems – such as solar panels, hydroelectricity and wind power – have proven to be lucrative investments that grow over time due to their ongoing demand. Not only have green stocks been handling the rocky markets well, they also help pave the way for a cleaner society.
As with all investments, there are pros and cons involved. Furthermore, you should measure how much risk you are willing to take against how much money you actually have. Several banks and brokerage firms employ qualified professionals that specialize in green investing to help you make an informed decision.
Greening your finances not only helps the Earth, it also declutters your life, keeps you connected to your money, and allows you to keep track of your finances more easily. The tips above may prove to be a worthwhile investment both for the planet and your pocket.
Category: Eco Friendly